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-   -   Is Carter the longest lived President after his election? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=807831)

Northern Piper 10-19-2016 12:48 AM

Is Carter the longest lived President after his election?
 
It suddenly occurred to me that it is forty years since Jimmy Carter was elected in 1976.

Besides making me feel old, that raises a question: is Carter the former President who has lived the longest after his election?

thelurkinghorror 10-19-2016 01:04 AM

I did a quick Excel spreadsheet, and unless I did something wrong, yes he is. The top 5 are (rounded, so possibly +/- 1 year):

1) Carter
2) Hoover - 31 years
3) Ford - 29 years
4) John Adams - 25 years
5) George H.W. Bush - 23 years and counting

Lord Feldon 10-19-2016 01:06 AM

He broke the record for the longest post-presidency a little more than four years ago, so I think he has to be.

Iggy 10-19-2016 01:08 AM

Yes. Looks like Carter tops that list. Hoover and Ford bring up the 2 and 3 spots.

Obama may be able to put in a showing on that list. Check back in 2048 to see how he is doing at age 87.

Amateur Barbarian 10-19-2016 07:25 AM

And he's done something worthwhile with every one of those years. (Unlike so many others, some much younger.)

Damn near an American saint, if ya ast me.

Chronos 10-19-2016 07:51 AM

Jimmy Carter? History's greatest monster?

md2000 10-19-2016 09:04 AM

I wonder too if it's an indication the presidents (Reagan excepted, maybe? And this election...) have been getting younger?

It used to be that to be an elder statesman/statesperson accepted by the party elite, and building a country-wide reputation, a candidate needed to be fairly advanced in years. Modern communication, the primary system and mass media, means that someone could go from unknown nationally to party candidate in 4 years, no matter what their age.

then of course, modern medicine means that conditions of the elderly that could have been fatal years ago - even something as simple as pneumonia - can be effectively treated oday.

muldoonthief 10-19-2016 09:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by md2000 (Post 19712394)
I wonder too if it's an indication the presidents (Reagan excepted, maybe? And this election...) have been getting younger?

It used to be that to be an elder statesman/statesperson accepted by the party elite, and building a country-wide reputation, a candidate needed to be fairly advanced in years. Modern communication, the primary system and mass media, means that someone could go from unknown nationally to party candidate in 4 years, no matter what their age.

then of course, modern medicine means that conditions of the elderly that could have been fatal years ago - even something as simple as pneumonia - can be effectively treated oday.

Presidents haven't been getting noticeably younger - here's a list of Presidents by age. 5 of the 10 presidents elected before the age of 50 were in the 1800s. Reagan and Bush 41 were two of the oldest. It's much more likely to be extensions in lifespan, especially for those at the far end of the economic spectrum as ex-presidents generally are.

Disgscen 10-19-2016 09:56 AM

Candidates* are now expected to be healthy and active much more than before, when I think statesmanlike and . . . I dunno, 'solid' were more attractive to voters.

I remember when Bill Clinton was first running for president, he'd be filmed jogging and he'd smile and wave, but he was obviously out of shape and uncomfortable. After years of that, he was clearly much fitter. That type of lifestyle change can add a few years.

* This year is clearly exceptional in any number of ways.

Little Nemo 10-19-2016 10:14 AM

On a related note, James Polk had the shortest retirement of any former President (outside of those who died in office). Polk contracted cholera and died only 103 days after leaving office.

RTFirefly 10-19-2016 10:38 AM

Here's the thing that interests me: none of the Presidents from Thomas Jefferson to Richard Nixon lived longer than John Adams did.

Now every President since Nixon has either lived longer than Adams (Ford, Carter, Reagan, GHW Bush), or hasn't gotten there yet but is still alive and in good health (Clinton, GW Bush, Obama).

md2000 10-19-2016 01:06 PM

I suppose Teddy Roosevelt is the oddity, because he was a young war hero picked as vice president who became president by chance at a very early age. I'm surprised to see how young Grant was, but I guess war was a younger man's game in those days, and he leapfrogged a number of less competent generals.

Elendil's Heir 10-19-2016 01:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by md2000 (Post 19712985)
I suppose Teddy Roosevelt is the oddity, because he was a young war hero picked as vice president who became president by chance at a very early age....

He also died relatively young, at 60. The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long.

Muffin 10-19-2016 02:21 PM

It turns out that Carter is not just very religious. He's actually an immortal god.

DesertDog 10-20-2016 07:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 19712556)
On a related note, James Polk had the shortest retirement of any former President (outside of those who died in office). Polk contracted cholera and died only 103 days after leaving office.

How about William Henry Harrison? Dying 32 days into office on his first term would make it -1,429 days from his involuntary retirement.

No?

Wendell Wagner 10-20-2016 07:46 AM

The average life expectancy in the period 1750 to 1800 was 36. The average life expectancy at present is 78. So, yeah, people live a lot longer on average:

http://www.legacy.com/life-and-death...berty-era.html

http://www.legacy.com/life-and-death...ends-life.html

http://bfdg.com/thoughts/hail-old-man/

Little Nemo 10-20-2016 08:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir (Post 19713049)
He also died relatively young, at 60. The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long.

Lincoln's another President who died at a relatively young age. The war wore him down and he looked ancient in photographs. But he was only two months past his 56th birthday when he died.

Amateur Barbarian 10-20-2016 08:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Muffin (Post 19713209)
It turns out that Carter is not just very religious. He's actually an immortal god.

Anyone who just has to pause a little to deal with brain cancer has to be.

Amateur Barbarian 10-20-2016 09:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner (Post 19715482)
The average life expectancy in the period 1750 to 1800 was 36. The average life expectancy at present is 78. So, yeah, people live a lot longer on average:

Stats like this tend to be deceptive because infant mortality was so high in most eras prior to the 20th century. I can't find a quick cite, but there's an index of adult lifespan assuming individuals reach 15 or 20 or 25 in good health - and that number is much higher, well into the 60s for most populations, 70s for any reasonably civilized culture.

Two Many Cats 10-20-2016 09:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner (Post 19715482)
The average life expectancy in the period 1750 to 1800 was 36. The average life expectancy at present is 78. So, yeah, people live a lot longer on average:

http://www.legacy.com/life-and-death...berty-era.html

http://www.legacy.com/life-and-death...ends-life.html

http://bfdg.com/thoughts/hail-old-man/

Actually, life expectancy figures from the past are skewed by child mortality, and women dying in childbirth. If you survived your childhood during the late 1700's, early 1800's, you weren't expected to die in your thirties. People commonly did live into their sixties and seventies.

Even the Bible's Psalm 90:10 says "The days of our years are three score years and ten" which is seventy years.

Two Many Cats 10-20-2016 09:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian (Post 19715647)
Stats like this tend to be deceptive because infant mortality was so high in most eras prior to the 20th century. I can't find a quick cite, but there's an index of adult lifespan assuming individuals reach 15 or 20 or 25 in good health - and that number is much higher, well into the 60s for most populations, 70s for any reasonably civilized culture.

Dammit. Ninja'd!

Amateur Barbarian 10-20-2016 09:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Two Many Cats (Post 19715652)
Dammit. Ninja'd!

That would be a good name for a cat...

Two Many Cats 10-20-2016 09:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian (Post 19715673)
That would be a good name for a cat...

Which? Dammit or Ninja'd?

Amateur Barbarian 10-20-2016 09:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Two Many Cats (Post 19715680)
Which? Dammit or Ninja'd?

Yes.

Wendell Wagner 10-20-2016 09:24 AM

Yes, of course I know that the statistics are skewed by the fact that infant mortality was high. We've discussed this many times on the SDMB. It's still true that someone of the age that U.S. Presidents tend to be when they take office is expected to live quite a bit longer now than they were expected to in 1789. Why doesn't someone here figure out what the average age that Presidents took office? You can find the age that each of the Presidents took office from the chart in the third link in my post. Then look up what the number of years that a person of that age (or perhaps just a male of that age) was expected to live after that age in 1789 and how many years they are expected to live after that age now.

Elendil's Heir 10-20-2016 09:26 AM

You know we won't do your homework for you.

PeteShepherd 10-20-2016 10:05 AM

Average age at inaugeration
 
Wendell Wagner

Quote:

Why doesn't someone here figure out what the average age that Presidents took office? You can find the age that each of the Presidents took office from the chart in the third link in my post.
Ummm... The third link in your post has the average age that the presidents took office:

Quote:

◦The median age of US presidents upon taking office is 54 years and 11 months.

Amateur Barbarian 10-20-2016 10:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner (Post 19715482)
The average life expectancy in the period 1750 to 1800 was 36. The average life expectancy at present is 78. So, yeah, people live a lot longer on average:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner (Post 19715725)
Yes, of course I know that the statistics are skewed by the fact that infant mortality was high.

You used the old, offhand form that implies it was odd to reach 37. This is the Dope, not Louie Boyd's old nonsense column. :)

aldiboronti 10-20-2016 12:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian (Post 19712196)
And he's done something worthwhile with every one of those years. (Unlike so many others, some much younger.)

He has had a worthy career since losing office. What's puzzling is why he did so little with the Presidency, because he certainly wasn't a memorable President.

thelurkinghorror 10-20-2016 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PeteShepherd (Post 19715854)
Ummm... The third link in your post has the average age that the presidents took office:

Though median is "an" average, it's not what people mean (heh) when they think of average. Though in this case, the median is a better measure than the mean. Really that's true in most cases involving age, because as noted, infant mortality skews things. Even in the "ancient times" of the first 10 presidents, 8/10 lived past 70, and 6/10 past 75, and 4/10 past 80.

Quick calculation, though I rounded ages down to the nearest year: the presidents who died have a mean of 68.875 years, median 70 years. Not short-lived people, even WH Harrison.

Two Many Cats 10-20-2016 01:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aldiboronti (Post 19716291)
He has had a worthy career since losing office. What's puzzling is why he did so little with the Presidency, because he certainly wasn't a memorable President.

Oh, I don't know. The Camp David Accords. The only Middle East Peace treaty with any staying power.


I think it was his brother Billy, and the giant swimming attack rabbit that did Jimmy in. Well that, and the whole Iranian Hostage, botched rescue attempt thing.

Elendil's Heir 10-20-2016 02:18 PM

Jimmy also focused U.S. foreign policy on human rights, established the Departments of Energy and of Education, negotiated a treaty for the peaceful transfer of the Panama Canal to Panama, began the military buildup that Reagan completed, dealt with the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, appointed a then-record number of women and minorities to the Federal judiciary, and signed the SALT II nuclear weapons accord.

Not a great President, certainly, but not a do-nothing either.

md2000 10-20-2016 03:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Two Many Cats (Post 19716372)
Oh, I don't know. The Camp David Accords. The only Middle East Peace treaty with any staying power.


I think it was his brother Billy, and the giant swimming attack rabbit that did Jimmy in. Well that, and the whole Iranian Hostage, botched rescue attempt thing.

Yeah, several branches of the military screwed up and it's his fault. (What, they didn't realize covering the vents in a helicopter would overheat the equipment? Some guy can't do a simple move in a helicopter...?

Don't forget also he was the one who explicitly declined to answer the Soviet/Cuban troops in Angola and Mozambique, where it was suggested we needed to counter the commie threat to "save South Africa from being overrun by commies"; he ended much of the cycle of on-going proxy guerilla wars that formed a part of the cold war.

He started the process of tying foreign policy to human rights, even when it went against America's immediate interests. it was suggested as a result he was slow to help the Shah and his secret police, which precipitated the Iran hostage crisis.

Jim's Son 10-20-2016 06:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir (Post 19713049)
He also died relatively young, at 60. The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long.

Theodore Roosevelt also had his health severely impacted by exploring the Amazon in 1912. Three members of his expedition died, two later ones that retraced his steps were wiped out. He was also badly shaken by the death of his son Quentin in World War I (Roosevelt himself wanted to lead a division over there but President Wilson wouldn't authorize it...didn't want to give credibility to a political opponent).

Jimmy Carter may have a few good points but I remember high inflation, rising unemployment, block long gas lines, America held hostage in Iran and his support of terrorists like Arafat and dictators in North Korea.

RickJay 10-21-2016 11:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by md2000 (Post 19712985)
I suppose Teddy Roosevelt is the oddity, because he was a young war hero picked as vice president who became president by chance at a very early age. I'm surprised to see how young Grant was, but I guess war was a younger man's game in those days, and he leapfrogged a number of less competent generals.

He also became addicted to cigars during the war, and that's what killed him.


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